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AP Style Book Removes “Homophobia,” “Islamophobia,” and “Ethnic Cleansing”

The AP has devolved in recent months. What is going on over there? What are the politics behind this influential news organization.

Islamophobes, anti-gay bigots, ethnic cleansing deniers (they overlap often) seem to be in agreement, viewing this as a “victory” that somehow confirms their prejudices. They are already going on about how such things are not real and don’t exist.

The AP Says No More ‘Homophobia,” ‘Islamophobia,’ or ‘Ethnic Cleansing’

Laura Beck (Jezebel)

In the past few months, the AP has removed homophobia, Islamophobia, and ethnic cleansing from their Style Book, explaining that “‘-phobia,’ ‘an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness’ should not be used ‘in political or social contexts,’ including ‘homophobia’ and ‘Islamophobia.’ It also calls ‘ethnic cleansing’ a ‘euphemism,’ and says the AP ‘does not use ‘ethnic cleansing’ on its own. It must be enclosed in quotes, attributed and explained.'”

Interesting. However, a commenter on Politico points out that “[t]his is completely wrong. They have confused the WORD “phobia” with the SUFFIX ‘-phobia’. The word “phobia” is just what they said: a technical term denoting an extreme, debilitating fear. The suffix ‘-phobia’, on the other hand is much broader. It can mean not just fear of, but also dislike of, aversion to, prejudice against, having a really bad (physical) reaction to, etc. Consider ‘Anglophobia’, ‘Francophobia’, ‘hydrophobia’, photophobia, etc. It has become an all-purpose (suffix) antonym to ‘-philia’. (bibliophilia, bibliophobia).” Hmm…

“When you break down ‘ethnic cleansing,’ it’s a cover for terrible violent activities. It’s a term we certainly don’t want to propgate,” [AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave] Minthorn continued. “Homophobia especially — it’s just off the mark. It’s ascribing a mental disability to someone, and suggests a knowledge that we don’t have. It seems inaccurate. Instead, we would use something more neutral: anti-gay, or some such, if we had reason to believe that was the case.”

“We want to be precise and accurate and neutral in our phrasing,” he said.

I’m not sure about all this. I feel like those words conjure the truth of what they are describing, and I’m afraid that introducing new terms could muddy the waters even more. However, agreed that “ethnic cleansing” could be a much more revolting term — but what? Let’s see… mis is the prefix for hate — maybe Mislamism? That doesn’t work. I like Heteronormative Bias, but don’t think it’s specific enough.

Another commenter on Politico suggests ‘Straight Supremacists,” for people who are anti-LGBT, I like that but is it a little confusing? Also, for ‘Islamophobes — what about just, like, “straight-up confused bigot dummies?” And for ethnic cleansing… hmm, what about GENOCIDE. Catchy enough?

Related News:

‘Homophobia’ and ‘Islamophobia’ are the right words for the job

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  • Abraham Duong

    Most homosexuals love muslims and support Palestine. What they want is to live in muslims countries peacefully and be allowed to marry and not face discrimantion. So what we ask from all the muslims in the world is to support us. It is not homosexuals killing innocent muslims in palestine is the zionists which most of us don’t support. So please dear muslims allow homosexuals to live peacefully in the middle east and marry. Thank you be safe muslims Sincerely Abraham.

  • Xithurel


    Because heaven forbid people should be taken out of their bubble of BS and fed a good dish of spicy reality.

  • mindy1

    🙁 why eliminate those terms?

  • @Emperor

    Off course I’ve heard of the AP before this, but I hadn’t heard of the AP Style Book before this.

    I looked it up, and although Wikipidia may not be the best source, based on what they say about what it is, it sounds like this might be very far reaching, unfortunately.

  • Reynardine

    “Genocide” seems a quite reasonable substitute. And, actually, “Mislamist” has a certain succinctness for someone who practices Mislamy.

  • Stoned Gremlin

    “straight-up confused bigot dummies”

    Or as I like to call it, SUCBD.

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